Security is a key consideration for all business owners and one of the big decisions they must make is whether to employ in house security guards or to use the services of an external security company. For example, if you are based in Birmingham, then you need to decide whether you want to hire in house security guards or outsource to a company like Oakwood Security which has Birmingham security guards.

Choosing to hire somebody yourself gives you the opportunity to set the standards and expertise you are specifically looking for. You can personally retrieve references for an individual to see how they have performed in previous, similar positions and do a variety of background checks. Employing a member of staff yourself also gives you and other employees the opportunity to personally get to know them and build a relationship with them, they are then unlikely to be viewed as an outsider which is a limitation when working for a separate company. In addition, employing somebody directly will provide consistency for all employees as it is unlikely to always have the same team when using an external company. You can also train staff you employ directly, embedding your company’s values and policies, creating a deeper sense of loyalty in comparison to security staff who have previously not worked for the company.

Recruiting can be exceptionally time consuming for an employer so they may decide to alternatively use an external security company. The UK security industry is tightly regulated therefore employers may spend a great amount of time and effort when trying to recruit a security team. This can be quite a complex task unless you are an expert in the security field, and you can confidently meet legal requirements. 

Employing an internal security team can also be very expensive. There are many costs to consider, including a Security Industry Authority (SIA) license, training, any required specialist equipment, insurance, uniform and you will need to consider staff cover for potential absences. When using a professional security agency all these costs will already be covered, as well as dealing with annual leave, sickness, training and any disciplinary procedures that need to take place, therefore possibly being a more time and cost-effective approach. 

When using an external security provider, you have a considerably less amount of control regarding who is working for your company and the standards of their work. It is therefore crucial when using an external company to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy, including checking all staff members have been adequately trained and vetted. On the other hand, poor working standards can also arise when employing security staff directly and it would be the employer that is accountable to deal with these issues.

If your security requirements differ in the future, either on a temporary or permanent basis, it would be a lot simpler to use an external company to deal with these adjustments rather than being responsible for managing them yourself, which could be a very timely procedure.

There are benefits and limitations to both outsourcing and in-house security, therefore the decision will ultimately be based on the individual company’s needs and requirements depending on the type of business they operate and the budget they have to spend on security services.